One of the best ways to prepare for winter weather is to start a list. This list should contain things like sealing windows, checking for drafts, insulating pipes, and a professional inspection of the heating system. An inspection ensures that the system is functional and safe to operate.
There are numerous things that should be checked out before turning the system on for use. Generally the manufacturers of heating appliances create a list of the components that should be checked prior to using them. Several of the components need to be checked. The following appliance components should always be inspected by a professional:
• safety features
• gas pressure
• the fan belt condition and tension
• air filter
• the controls and thermostat
• the burners and radiators
• the thermostat and its batteries
Doing an annual inspection of these important components of a heating system can prevent costly repairs and furnace malfunctions. Homeowners should always use a licensed and certified technician to perform an inspection. A professional will be able to spot potential problems such as a cracked or loose fan belt, rusted or corroded wires leading to the controls and burners that are malfunctioning.
An inspector will also catch any signs of leaks at or inside a gas furnace, as well as weaknesses in thermocouples that will affect heat zones. Old heater parts wear out and must be replaced so technicians generally have a variety of common repair parts on hand to make any necessary repairs. A technician will also be prepared to make emergency repairs when a heating system is not functioning properly.
Many homeowners prefer to have this inspection scheduled a month before needing to rely on their heating system full time. Having worn parts detected and replaced can ultimately prevent more costly repairs. Homeowners can help preserve the lifespan of their gas furnace and boiler system by keeping an eye out for trouble.
A properly functioning boiler should have a psi rating that ranges between 12-15 psi. If the gauge reads higher or lower a homeowner needs to turn off the heating system and call a professional immediately. Removing any debris and obstructive material from the flue pipe is another important winter prep task. In order to prevent other maintenance issues homeowners are also encouraged to maintain consistency in their thermostat setting. Many homeowners find that by maintaining their homes temperature they can also prevent a host of other problems such as frozen and busted pipes.
Keeping the thermostat setting just high enough to provide comfort without over working the system is one way to help preserve the life of a gas furnace or other heating appliance. The lifespan of a heater will vary, routine inspections will play a major role in getting the most out of the appliance. Schedule a preseason inspection with a licensed and certified technician to ensure the longevity of your gas furnace or other home heating system.